Wednesday, December 23, 2015

3 Ways to Get More Referrals for Your Business

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Statistically, there are no better clients, customers, or patients in business than those who are referred to you.

Referred clients come to you having been told by a third party that you are the person to contact. Essentially, the “selling” process has already been taken care of for you. The potential client is essentially looking for fulfillment on the promises made by the person who referred them. Your job is to live up to those expectations.

Another benefit of referrals is that they tend to be of higher average value than non-referred clients. There is less resistance to the prices you charge and more compliance with the process of handling the legal issue. This means more money and less stress for you.

It is obvious that more referrals for your practice is a good thing.

But there’s a secret to getting referrals that is often hidden from business owners. Most business owners have been taught, “Just do good work and the cases with come.” The idea is that you will get more cases over time as people refer more to you. That’s a pretty slow-moving train of success.

Instead of waiting for referrals to trickle in, you should be creating a steady stream of referred cases. Here are three ways for you to start generating more referrals for your practice:

  1. Make Referrals Part of Your Culture– This isn’t a wishy-washy, happy-go-lucky concept. The idea here is to integrate language encouraging referrals into everything you do. New clients should know that you love getting referrals. Stationary you use could have a brief statement about how to refer a case to your office in the footer. Whenever you talk with another attorney, don’t forget to discuss referrals with them. Make referrals a highlighted part of your practice’s general existence. The more importance you give to referrals, the more referrals you will get thanks to how many opportunities you are creating to draw in more referrals.
  2. Create an Email Specifically About Referrals– Try making contact with business owners in your area to build referral relationships. Email is a quick and easy way to open the lines of communication with people about referrals. Send it out to a group of business owners in your area (you can usually grab email addresses from their websites). Try sending 5-10 emails every week. If you give each one a custom feel by commenting on something you liked on the attorney’s website, you’ll score a few points as you try to establish the relationship. Make sure you follow up every few weeks until you start hearing back from your prospects.
  3. Turn Referrals into a “Program”– Develop a step-by-step process that you can show to other business owners to really encourage referring clients to your practice. Include pieces such as how the referring attorney will be notified when you accept the case, how they will be updated, how you handle the ethics requirements, and how payment to the attorney will be handled if allowed in your state. Giving structure to what can often be a loose verbal agreement makes the referring attorney more confident in how you handle the process. Now you have your own “Program” for referrals at your office, which can be an impressive marketing tool.

The smartest choice you can make right now is to make the cultural shift.This shift will change the behavior of people in your office and will modify how others perceive you and your practice. You can move from occassional referrals to constant stream in short order just by being known as a practice that handles referrals professionally and responsibly.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

5 smart strategies to grow your executive network

From AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987

Google ‘networking’ and ‘CEO’, and you’re served up a plethora of events across the globe where C-suite executives have the opportunity to grow their professional network. It’s all very well to attend these events, but how do you get the most out of them and then continue to nurture the networks you build?

If you’re looking to deepen your professional network – and leverage the vast benefits that such relationships afford – here are five things to keep in mind.  

1. Take the time to reach out

As an executive, you’ve no doubt got access to a strong network of professional peers – fellow board members, clients, investors, analysts and more. You need to take the initiative to keep these relationships current, which can be hard when your calendar is crowded with meetings and events. Don’t wait until you need something to reach out. 

2. Find great matchmakers

We’re not talking about Greg Evans here. Your perfect match when it comes to networking may be your accountant or banker – someone who knows a lot of other people and can potentially introduce you to a valuable new business partner. This way, you can focus on managing your micro-network and they can cast a wider net for you.

3. Show your worth

In today’s fast-paced business environment, people are less likely to connect with you if you don’t have anything to offer them. If you’re confident that you want to connect with someone, make the first move by offering up support or advice to them. They will be much more likely to reciprocate down the track. 

4. Use technology to your advantage

While nothing matches face-to-face meetings to strengthen relationships, technology is now a vital tool in the networking process. Many believe the gold standard for executive networking is LinkedIn. Here, you could find groups that are relevant to your business, participate in these groups and make relevant connections. You could also maintain connections via Twitter, or create a blog to share your learning with peers. Identify which tools work best for you, and use them to your advantage.

5. Remember, it’s not about selling

No matter what your agenda or why you want to connect with another professional, remember that networking is not about selling. You won’t get far if you try to push a product or service in front of another executive’s face. Instead, at the C-suite level, you should be building legitimate professional networks that are mutually beneficial – you really can help each other solve business problems.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015